In Brief

Typhoon Hato kills 12 as it lashes Hong Kong with 129mph gusts

Victims caught in submerged cars and more than 150 people are injured across southern China

The most powerful typhoon to hit southern China in five years has killed at least 12 people, forced the Hong Kong stock market to suspend trading and led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Multistorey car parks were submerged by flood water and monster waves crashed straight into oceanfront homes and flats in Hong Kong's Lamma Island.

Macau's casinos were operating on back-up generators as the storm caused a power cut across most of the gambling hub. At least eight people died in Macau, CNN reports. A wall brought down by strong winds killed a man, another person died after falling from the 11th floor of a building, and a third after being hit by a truck.

The signal for Typhoon Hato was raised to ten – the highest level in the territory's storm warning system – with winds gusting at up to 129mph.

"Shattered glass from blown out windows in skyscrapers rained on the streets below and construction cranes swayed precariously on top of unfinished high rises," says Sky News.

Hato also blew through mainland China, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from coastal areas. Ferry services were halted, Xinhua News Agency says, as waves of up to 33ft were expected in the South China Sea.

The news agency reported nine deaths, but other media, including CNN, said at least 12 were dead. An estimated 150 have been injured and some people are believed to have died when their cars were submerged in flood water. 

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